EFAC is back, internationally speaking. Changing times in the Anglican Communion have catalysed the restart of the global dimension of EFAC. Stephen Hale, Chair of EFAC Australia, was our man on the spot.
Recently I had the privilege of attending the meeting of the revived Global Council of EFAC in Nairobi. EFAC International (now EFAC Global) has been inactive for the past decade or so, however in 2017 the Trustees (Bishop Keith Sinclair, Canon Chris Sugden, Stephen Hofmeyr, Bishop-elect Phillip Mountstephen) met and resolved to reactivate the Global Council of EFAC. There was a constitution, a set of aims and a statement of faith plus some money in a bank account. Richard Crocker was appointed as the General Secretary, ably assisted by his wife Caroline. They have worked tirelessly since to get EFAC Global back into operation.
The Council meeting took place in two parts, firstly at GAFCON where Richard Trist was present and then more fully in Nairobi. Present in Nairobi were representatives from existing EFAC National groups: England (CEEC), the USA, South Africa, Nigeria, Australia, Scotland, Madagascar plus Peter Walker who is Convenor of the Theological Resource Network. Also present were the Trustees, plus people from India, Kenya, Congo, Mozambique, Tanzania, Malawi and Burundi. The potential for new EFAC National groups to form is high. They were a fascinating group to be with and it was privilege to forge new friendships. The only weakness was the total lack of gender balance which we have vowed won’t happen next time!
We resolved to establish a new Council with representatives from existing EFAC groups and to add members as new national groups emerge. We also appointed an Executive comprising Bishop Keith as Chair, Bishop Henry Okele from Nigeria, Canon Vijay Kumar from North India, Bishop Seth Ndayirukiye from Burundi, Richard Crocker, Stephen Hofmeyr and myself. We are one of the strongest EFACs globally but pale into comparison with Nigeria with its 35,000 members! We also supported a resolution to amend the Statement of Faith to incorporate the GAFCON statement on atonement and to add a new supplementary statement which is the GAFCON statement on marriage.
EFAC was affirmed as a fellowship which enables evangelical Anglicans to come together. In Scotland and the US, for example, it is a good place for evangelicals who have stayed and evangelicals who have left to come together. We also had the opportunity to participate in the 10th Anniversary Celebrations of CMS Africa. This in itself was intriguing as many African nations now work together to share in mission in and beyond Africa.